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Green House

“I wish for a world that views disability, mental or physical, not as a hindrance but as unique attributes that can be seen as powerful assets if given the right opportunities”

― Oliver Sacks

Creating Accessibility

before we begin, let's start by establishing the backstory

step 1: background

A Path in the Garden
Background
Image by Christin Hume


The Statistics on Accessibility
& Why it Matters


Swipe Right

Now that we’ve established the background, let’s get started with taking a look at the process

step 2: process

Process
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What was the 
process?

Mphasis corporation was approached by an American multinational finance and insurance corporation with operations in more than 80 countries and jurisdictions to conduct a detailed accessibility study on one of the most heavily trafficked portions of their website. 

What was the 
goal?

Conduct remote accessibility testing for a large insurance provider to help make their website inclusive to all users, help boost conversions, and minimize legal risks.

What were the expected
business outcomes?

  • Findability of information 

  • Content informing clear instructions

  • Interactions that can be accessed using assistive technology

  • ​Navigation indicators wherever necessary

4 client representatives

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Senior Director of Marketing

who was on the
team?

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Senior Compliance Officer

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VP Customer Experience

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Elder and Vulnerable Client Care Officer

2 UX Researchers

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My Role

1 accessibility consulting agency member

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Assistive Technologies

(for Screen Reader and Screen Magnification)

what were the
tools?

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NVDA

TalkBack

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VoiceOver

JAWS

Testing Resources

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Zoom

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Google Meet

Since we now understand the process, it's time to dive into the journey!

step 3: journey

Journey
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1

User Recruitment

2

Test Plan

Creation

3

Technical Checks

4

Accessibility Testing

5

Data Aggregation & Analysis

6

Data Visualization: Heat Map

7

Data Visualization: Bubble Chart

8

The Impact

1

User Recruitment

The first step to this exciting journey: Meet with the accessibility consulting agency and recruit a representative participant group

 

Through multiple brainstorming sessions, we aligned priorities and ideated on the best ways to evaluate accessibility for the website and pages in scope. Based on these meetings, we created and recruited the following user profile. 

8 PARTICIPANTS

5 Desktop/Laptop Users

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3 Mobile Users

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3 Blind Users

(Screen Reader)

2 Low Vision Users

(Screen Magnification)

3 Blind Users

(Screen Reader)

2 Low Vision Users

(Screen Magnification)

2

Test Plan Creation

The next, very critical step: creating a usability test plan.

In order to do this, we worked with the client team to sketch out our main priorities.

We decided to conduct an assessment of the website and pages in scope to understand:

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Main navigational steps 

Key functions carried out by resources

Variety of resources available amongst pages

(PDFs, videos, documents, forms, etc.)

which were clearly and comprehensively laid out to assist users navigate through websites and provide feedback of positive elements and flaws. 

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6

main

tasks 

3

Technical Checks

The next and extremely important step (specifically for remote accessibility testing): technical checks with participants

 

Prior to the actual usability test day, we met with each participant to ensure they have and are able to: 

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Effectively use assistive technologies

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Can use video and audio conferencing

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Are comfortable and excited to participate in the study

4

Accessibility Testing Sessions

Finally, the most exciting step: Conducting the accessibility tests!

On the day of each session, here's what we did:

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Met the participants (virtually) and introduced ourselves

Provided an overview of the goals and ensured confidentiality throughout the process

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Ask participant to share screen and go to website (URL shared via chat)

Ask users to think out loud and voice any thoughts, opinions, and feelings

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Read each task aloud and took notes as user worked through test plan

Thank user for their active participation and provide next steps

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4

Data Aggregation & Analysis

As you have probably guessed, these usability tests resulted in an abundance of great data which we had to sieve through to obtain the main findings.

After collating the data, we needed to map and analyze the data against Web Accessibility Guidelines in order to prove detailed data to the client team regarding the severity of the accessibility violations

The rich data we gathered resulted in quantitative and qualitative data. This information allowed us to map the findings and visualize the data in different ways to clearly communicate and relay the importance of the findings to the client.

5

Data Visualization: Heat Map

First, we created a heat map which modeled the magnitude of severity encountered by participants as they worked through the tasks. These visual patterns which used colors and visual cues presented the client with a detailed hierarchy of accessibility violations.

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*dummy data inserted in order to maintain confidentiality of research results

6

Data Visualization: Bubble Chart

Next, we created a bubble chart* which visualized the data set via the different dimensions of information gathered in order to deliver the priority of accessibility features to be tackled, number of participants who faced the issue, and the severity of the WCAG guideline violated.

*dummy data inserted in order to maintain confidentiality of research results

7

The Impact

Based on the research and data analysis, our team presented the main findings through a detailed accessibility report to key stakeholders. 

The findings from the report helped stakeholders implement many foundational accessibility resources to thousands of their visually impaired users around the world. 

 

Some of the changes made include aspects of the following categories: 

Heading Structure

Form Interaction

Keyboard Navigation

PDF Accessibility

Color Contrast

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User Recruitment
Test Plan Creation
Technical Checks
Accessibility Testing
Data Aggregation & Analysis
Heat Map
Bubble Chart
Recommendations & Report
Final Thoughts

Last but not least, here are some of my learnings from this project

step 4: final thoughts

Image by Annie Spratt

I was initially very excited to be a part of this project because of my deep interest in research and technology, however this journey led me to discover so much more about the way information is structured, and most importantly, about the way humans learn with the guidance of complex technological structures. During my first interaction with a blind user, I was completely in awe of the way the participant was able to swiftly navigate through their computer using the capabilities of a screen reader. By attempting to understand the diverse systems of thought that people bring with them, I was able to learn, grow, and discover the power of using technology to learn. 

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